NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Internal Migration in the United States

Raven Molloy, Christopher L. Smith, Abigail K. Wozniak

NBER Working Paper No. 17307
Issued in August 2011
NBER Program(s):   LS

We review patterns in migration within the US over the past thirty years. Internal migration has fallen noticeably since the 1980s, reversing increases from earlier in the century. The decline in migration has been widespread across demographic and socioeconomic groups, as well as for moves of all distances. Although a convincing explanation for the secular decline in migration remains elusive and requires further research, we find only limited roles for the housing market contraction and the economic recession in reducing migration recently. Despite its downward trend, migration within the US remains higher than that within most other developed countries.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17307

Published: Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 173-96, Summer.

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